How Hard is Acacia Wood? + Janka Hardness Rating

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Acacia wood is often used for furniture and flooring due to its strength and durability. However, one must consider its hardness, and that’s where the Janka hardness rating comes into play.

Thus, I explored the hardness of acacia wood, how it affects its uses, and important information before using it for a particular application.

Is Acacia Considered a Hardwood?

acacia wood

The Acacia tree, which is a type of hardwood tree, grows in Australia and is also called by other names such as Wattle, Mimosa, and Thorntree. Also, acacia wood is a popular choice for wood carving, furniture, construction, and other woodwork.

Compared to other types of wood, Acacia wood has a less porous structure, which makes it extremely hard. Its high density and hardness value is due to its unique structure, which has a greater number of fibers per unit area because of its low porosity.

Thus, acacia wood is considered a hardwood. To get a comparison between acacia and other types of woods, I have listed below various wood types and their own Janka hardness rating.

WOOD SPECIESHARDNESS VALUE
Douglas Fir660 pounds-force (lbf)
2900 newtons (N)
Shortleaf and Loblolly Yellow Pine690 pounds-force (lbf)
3100 newtons (N)
Silver Maple700 pounds-force (lbf)
3100 newtons (N)
Red Maple950 pounds-force (lbf)
4200 newtons (N)
Imbuia Black Cherry950 pounds-force (lbf)
4200 newtons (N)
Cherry995 pounds-force (lbf)
4430 newtons (N)
North American Black Walnut1010 pounds-force (lbf)
4500 newtons (N)
Teak1155 pounds-force (lbf)
5140 newtons (N)
Heart Pine1225 pounds-force (lbf)
5450 newtons (N)
Baltic (Yellow) Birch1260 pounds-force (lbf)
5600 newtons (N)
Northern Red Oak1290 pounds-force (lbf)
5700 newtons (N)
American Beech1300 pounds-force (lbf)
5800 newtons (N)
White Ash Wood1320 pounds-force (lbf)
5900 newtons (N)
White Oak1360 pounds-force (lbf)
6000 newtons (N)
Australian Cypress1375 pounds-force (lbf)
6120 newtons (N)
Sugar Maple (Hard Maple)1450 pounds-force (lbf)
6400 newtons (N)
Wenge, Red Pine, Hornbeam1630 pounds-force (lbf)
7300 newtons (N)
African Padauk1725 pounds-force (lbf)
7670 newtons (N)
Rosewood1780 pounds-force (lbf)
7900 newtons (N)
Hickory, Pecan, Satinwood1820 pounds-force (lbf)
8100 newtons (N)
Acacia Wood2300 pounds-force (lbf)
10230 newtons (N)
Golden Teak2330 pounds-force (lbf)
10400 newtons (N)
Brazilian Cherry (Jatoba)2350 pounds-force (lbf)
10500 newtons (N)
Red Mahogany (Turpentine)2697 pounds-force (lbf)
12000 newtons (N)
Brazilian Walnut3684 pounds-force (lbf)
16390 newtons (N)

Characteristics of Acacia Wood

acacia grain

Acacia wood has a unique irregular pattern that results in a wide range of colors. The heartwood can be dark red to light brown, creating a noticeable contrast with the yellowish-white sapwood. 

It has a natural smoothness that can be improved with treatment, and its warm tone is highlighted by attractive inherent veins that vary in color from red to dark shades depending on the part of the wood.

However, acacia wood has a low level of porosity, which makes it difficult to apply paint or stain evenly. With traditional coating methods, the pigments cannot penetrate through the pores of the wood, resulting in an uneven finish. 

Thus, due to its low porosity, acacia wood is a challenging material to paint or stain. Nonetheless, this wood is both light in weight and strong, making it easy to work with. Its high level of hardness also contributes to its excellent workability.

Below are the remarkable traits of acacia wood:

acacia look

The primary features of acacia wood are elaborated below:

Where to Use Acacia Hardwood

Acacia is well-known for its exceptional sturdiness, compactness, and unparalleled aesthetic appeal. Let me tell you, this wood is a workhorse, and it finds extensive application in various fields. Moreover, people make the best of acacia due to its versatility.

acacia furniture

In addition to its common uses in creating flooring, and furniture, acacia also serves the pharmaceutical industry by providing gum that is utilized in producing medicines. Moreover, acacia is highly favored by woodworkers and is commonly used such as:

Acacia Wood’s Strength

In regards to its strength, Acacia wood boasts a 10,142 pounds per square inch (psi) compressive strength [1] and an 18,263 pounds per square inch (psi) bending strength, which is significantly greater than any other hardwood.

acacia carry

Due to its exceptional strength, Acacia wood also exhibits significant dimensional stability. Thus, acacia wood is strong and can last a long time, and doesn’t need any coating for thirty years or more.

Is Acacia Strong For Wood Flooring?

Acacia is a popular option for flooring since it is tougher and more compact than other woods with a 2300 pounds-force (lbf) or 10230 newtons (N) Janka hardness. 

I’ve seen this stuff take on high foot traffic like it’s no big deal. Plus, it has excellent water resistance, so you don’t have to freak out every time someone spills a drink.

And let’s not forget its scratch and dent resistance, which practically makes it a forever floor if you take care of it.

Pros & Cons of Acacia Wood Flooring

Acacia is a type of hardwood that showcases diverse colors and patterns. When incorporated into flooring, its unique patterns enhance the aesthetics of the space. 

Additionally, it is renowned for its durability, making it a favorable option for wood flooring, as it offers numerous advantages. However, there are still disadvantages to using acacia wood for flooring despite its pleasing characteristics. 

Acacia wood flooring

Thus, for better understanding, below are various pros and cons of acacia wood flooring:

Pros

Cons

Acacia vs Oak Wood: Which is Harder?

quarter sawn Red Oak

Despite the preference of some for oak, acacia wood is tougher and more durable. Moreover, acacia wood has greater resilience than other woods. Therefore, it is the preferred choice for furniture utilized in high-traffic locations.

For a better comparison between the two kinds of wood, below is their own Janka hardness rating:

 

Acacia WoodWhite OakRed Oak
Janka Hardness Rating2300 pounds-force (lbf)1360 pounds-force (lbf)1290 pounds-force (lbf)

Which is Harder, Acacia Wood or Maple?

maple soft wood

Acacia and maple are versatile wood options that can be utilized in numerous applications. Both kinds of wood are attractive and robust, suitable for a diverse range of projects.

However, acacia wood is harder and more durable than maple and is moisture-resistant, making it a suitable option for furniture and homes in areas with varying humidity levels.

For a better comparison, below is their individual Janka hardness rating:

 

Acacia WoodSoft MapleHard Maple
Janka Hardness Rating2300 pounds-force (lbf)950 pounds-force (lbf)1450 pounds-force (lbf)

FAQ

Is acacia harder than pine?

Yes, acacia is harder than pine, with acacia’s Janka hardness rating of 2300 pounds-force (lbf) compared to pine’s 690 to 1630 pounds-force (lbf) Janka hardness rating which is much weaker than acacia.

Which is harder, acacia or walnut?

Walnut is harder than acacia with its 3684 pounds-force (lbf) Janka hardness rating surpassing acacia with a Janka hardness rating of 2300 pounds-force (lbf). Thus, acacia is weaker than maple.

See Also: Spar Urethane on Acacia Wood

Conclusion

So, how hard is Acacia wood? Generally, it’s 2300 lbf, which is hard and durable enough to make flooring and furniture. 

However, its hardness can vary depending on the specific type of Acacia, the part of the tree, and its growing condition. Therefore, it’s important to get accurate information before using it for a specific purpose.

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Robert Johnson is a passionate furniture maker & carpenter, sought after for his knowledge on the craft.
You’ve probably seen his down-to-earth wisdom in USA Today, Bobvila, Family Handyman, and The Spruce, where he has shared commentary and guidance on various woodworking topics.

Robert is the brain behind Sawinery, where he aims to share tips, tricks, and a passion for all things carpentry.

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